Hebron University - Sheikh El-Jabari, the Memory and the Idea

Sheikh El-Jabari, the Memory and the Idea

Sheikh El-Jabari, the Memory and the Idea


By: Dr. Imad Bishtawi

Four decades and counting have passed since the death of one of the figures of Hebron and Palestine, the sight of tens of thousands carrying his immaculate body and their eyes continues to take a final farewell look at a figure who has left and continues to have the greatest impact, in our history, present, and future. His personality possessed knowledge, boldness, courage, political acumen, and intellectual, social, and political visions, visions he formulated and defended in the face of an atmosphere of discourses and slogans that led the Palestinian people to a series of defeats and setbacks, far from the institutional capacity building.

Sheikh El-Jabari bet on this person and his steadfastness in this land, hence his insightful vision was in establishing the first higher education institution in Palestine which graduated thousands of degree holders. His sole wish was to build one Palestinian university for all Palestinians, in the West Bank, Gaza, and Palestine (pre-1948), comprising Palestinians from the far north to the far south, a unified university focused not on geography or regionalism, but rather on its goal, purpose, and address is Palestine.

On the other hand, by virtue of his long presence as a mayor of Hebron - on giving the municipalities a real role, he went beyond the classic role of municipalities and their routine work to the political dimension by organizing and framing municipalities in Palestine and holding periodic conferences. The Palestinian municipalities played a key role in consolidating national unity, maintaining civil peace, social cohesion, and support for the citizen in the face of occupation, through his steadfastness in this land, after providing factors of steadfastness, steadfastness, and dignity. We are in dire need of our presence these days as we witness conflicts and divisions at various social, political, clan, and even individual levels.

What distinguished Sheikh El-Jabari most is his charismatic personality that imposes respect on everyone who meets him. He has won the respect of the Palestinian people, Arab and world leaders. Thanks to the realistic political proposition that he believed in and defended against all, the days proved his forward-looking insight into the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular. His survival and stability in Palestine had the greatest impact in promoting the survival and steadfastness of the Palestinian people, rejecting all the temptations presented to him to leave, but his only choice was to stay among his people. He , on the other hand, called for the establishment of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, immediately after the 1967 war, at a time when these areas were devoid of settlements and settlers. That call, which was rejected by the Palestinian leadership at the time, returned decades later to demand what he called for, but it was too late, as the Palestinian, regional, and international circumstances changed, and Palestinian geography eroded getting to where we are today.

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